On a trip in May (egads!) I finally found my beloved PG Tips in loose leaf in a H.E.B. in College Station of all places!
I bought it and it sat in the hotel room, waiting, while I drank other teas I had brought (including bagged PG Tips – when one has an early morning workshop to get to, one doesn’t dawdle with loose). I finally got around to opening it this morning.
The packaging is a sturdy cardboard box, with a plastic “seal” that has to be removed and discarded in order to get at the tea, so not much help with freshness. I will be placing this in tins later today.
In the box: The leaves smell exactly like when I first open a box of the bags – like a good, standard English Breakfast blend of black teas. The leaves themselves reminded me of dry couscous – little tiny hard balls. Adding boiling water didn’t do a lot to change their shape, unlike other black teas, but this meant that the flavor was released and realized quickly.
Brewed: Yup, this is PG Tips alright. A good basic standard English Breakfast tea, that needs milk and sugar. Apparently, I’ve been adding the milk incorrectly for years – after brewing/pouring – and it is supposed to go in first, according to the UK Tea Council website. I did notice that adding the milk to the cup then the tea gave a slightly different, not as robust flavor. Not sure if that’s because of the order of addition or the loose tea. I’ll have to make another cup to test, oh dear!
Since I’ve been drinking a lot more loose leaf lately, and mostly single cups of said teas, I dug out the Teavana Perfect TeaMaker that I received as a prize from an old job to brew this. That may have affected the flavor as well, but clean up certainly was a snap!